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Healing, Strengthening, and Advancing the Lives of LGBTQ People Seeking Recovery

7 Benefits of IOP: What to Know Before You Go

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When seeking addiction treatment, it’s important to explore your options. Residential programs have long been the default choice, but outpatient programs are well worth exploring. In particular, Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs) offer a flexible and effective approach to healing, allowing clients to receive care while maintaining their daily responsibilities. 

In this article, we’ll explore seven benefits of IOP to help you decide if it’s the right step on your recovery journey.

Find out more about La Fuente Hollywood’s West Hollywood, California IOP by calling 888.903.9898.

What is an IOP? 

Intensive Outpatient Programs, often abbreviated as IOPs, are a type of outpatient addiction treatment. Programs differ from center to center, but in general, they incorporate a combination of:

  • Group therapy sessions
  • Individual therapy sessions
  • Life skills classes
  • Holistic healing (yoga, meditation, and art therapy)
  • Support groups

IOPs generally require a commitment of about 10 hours per week, spread across multiple days, with clients returning to their homes and daily routines after each session. This flexibility distinguishes IOPs from residential treatment, which necessitates overnight stays.

Who are IOPs for? 

IOPs are well-suited for clients who require minimal support in their journey to overcome addictions. This could include individuals who already have a robust support network or those with the life skills necessary to manage difficult situations independently.

Are there any drawbacks to an IOP?

The advantages of IOPs far outweigh the disadvantages. Still, it’s important to get a full picture before deciding which treatment program is right for you. With that in mind, here are some of the downsides of an IOP: 

  • Continued exposure to triggers: In an IOP, clients may still encounter influences that previously triggered their substance abuse.
  • Easy access to substances: Being in familiar environments can increase the risk of relapse.
  • Distractions: Everyday life is full of distractions that can divert attention from recovery efforts.
  • Counseling access: Counseling is available in an IPO, but it may not be as readily accessible as in residential facilities.
  • Limited peer interaction: Compared to inpatient programs, IOPs may offer fewer opportunities for building a sober support network.

7 Benefits of IOP

Now that you have a better understanding of what an IOP is, who it’s right for, and some of its drawbacks, let’s take a look at the seven benefits of IOPs. 

1. Flexible schedule

Flexibility is one of the biggest advantages of IOPs. These programs run only a few hours per day, meaning that clients receive care while simultaneously maintaining their work, school, and home commitments. Check out our article about balancing an IOP with your lifestyle for more details. 

2. Maintain your privacy 

Fear of stigma or judgment often keeps clients from seeking addiction treatment, but it doesn’t have to be like that. Because an IOP fits into your daily schedule, no one needs to know you’re receiving care unless you want them to. 

3. Take on more personal responsibility 

Unlike residential treatment, which often requires clients to put their personal responsibilities on hold, IOPs encourage clients to manage their daily obligations while prioritizing their recovery. This is important because study after study has found that taking responsibility for your sobriety is a crucial part of successful long-term recovery

4. Ability to connect with your existing support system

Whereas inpatient recovery takes you away from friends and family, IOPs give you the time and flexibility to connect with your support system on a regular basis. It sounds simple, but research shows that these positive social interactions are crucial for maintaining abstinence

5. Opportunity to practice skills learned in treatment

Because you’ll be living out in the “real world” during an IOP, you’ll encounter all kinds of triggering situations. While challenging, they give you the opportunity to apply coping skills (like mindfulness or meditation) learned in treatment. This practical, hands-on experience will strengthen your skills, making them more effective over time. 

6. Build a sober community 

Building a supportive community is an essential aspect of recovery. Thankfully, participating in an IOP can help you develop a sober network of support. That includes not only fellow IOP clients but also other sober folks in the wider community. 

7. Cost-effective 

Compared to a traditional inpatient program, an IOP is surprisingly affordable. A big part of their affordability comes from the fact that they don’t require residential stays. What’s more, many insurance plans will cover part (if not all) of an IOP, making them all the more accessible. 

Discover the benefits of La Fuente Hollywood’s LGBTQ IOP Program

In addition to all of the benefits listed above, La Fuente Hollywood’s IOP offers one of the country’s only LGBTQ-inclusive programs. We also provide co-occurring disorder treatment, individual and group therapy, and relapse prevention services so you feel supported every step of the way. 

Our IOP is open Monday to Friday from 9 am to 12 pm. Call 888.903.9898 to learn more about our program and all of the benefits it can offer you.

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